Somerville’s newest bakery isn’t a charming storefront that lures you in from the street with the scent of chocolate and vanilla. It exists primarily online. But as takeout and delivery now dominates the dining experience, isn’t that an ideal place for it?
That’s what Joe Cassinelli, CEO of the Alpine Restaurant Group, thinks. At one of his Somerville restaurants, Rosebud American Kitchen + Bar, pies, cakes, and other desserts have long been a standout part of the menu.
“We’re known for our pies [at Rosebud],” Cassinelli told Boston.com. “People love them. They’re creative and different and unique and delicious. I’ve been trying for a while to figure out a way to bake them commercially available for Whole Foods or something like that — that’s what I was working on pre-pandemic.”
Instead, the pandemic prompted Cassinelli to launch Elm Street Sweets, a new online bake shop that debuted last week. (Rosebud will also start marketing its desserts from Elm Street Sweets.) With executive pastry chef Tali Pinnolis at the helm, the bakery offers cookie dough brownie pie, peanut butter fudge pie, blueberry crumble pie, and banana bourbon cream pie. There are double chocolate walnut cookies, ginger molasses cookies, and lemon pistachio white chocolate chip cookies, as well as pecan carrot cake, confetti cake, and lemon raspberry cake. And there is swag — hats, T-shirts, and stickers touting Elm Street’s retro logo.
While desserts are currently available for pick-up at Rosebud in Davis Square, Cassinelli said the team is working on delivery — including nationwide shipping — and plans to tap into wholesale opportunities in the near future.
Despite coming up with the idea of Elm Street Sweets before the global health crisis began, Cassinelli acknowledged that he envisioned the bakery as a way to keep the pastry department busy and employed since “restaurants [right now] aren’t busy enough to support a big pastry department.”
“We’re all trying to find a way to put a couple extra dollars in the business and keep people employed,” he said. “Because the scary part is that when patios go away, restaurants are not going to need as much staff. We just can’t afford to have them. We’ve just been so handicapped for the past eight months.”
Still, he’s been trying to stay positive.
“I think restaurateurs are very creative people, and we’re just trying to find solutions to things,” Cassinelli said. “In the hard times, you find some silver lining that you try to capitalize on.”
Pies, cakes, cookies, and more can now be ordered online from elmstreetsweets.com.
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